In three days both of my children will be leaving for “Nana Camp”. This is an annual event in the Morley family when my mother-in-law takes all of her grandchildren over 3 years old and hosts them for a week. During this time the kids revel in eating ice cream and pizza at every meal, swimming until they collapse, not bathing, not eating vegetables and basically being allowed to do whatever they want. It is truly a child’s paradise and I’m lucky to have such a mother-in-law. The last two years Lucy has been old enough to go but not Max. Although this was very sad for Max, I was glad to have one “little chick” at home. Alas, this is the year that both will leave me.
I feel like I’ve been counting down to this moment since Max was born and yet now that it is here I’m feeling less sure. What will my house be like without my kids? I’m going to come home from class to what? Silence. The last time my house was totally silent was the moment before I woke David up to drive me to the hospital for Lucy’s birth. Part of me has visions of being this super-productive person who organizes closets, cleans under the kitchen table, and finishes up the kid’s baby books. But instead I fear I will be unfocused and unsure of what to do with my body. Without my children will my day lack all structure and direction? And is that something that I should worry about?
I lived alone once. I have the pictures to prove it. A small 680 square foot apartment with one bedroom and a fireplace. It was smartly decorated, spotlessly clean, and every inch was a reflection of me. Now, I live in a 2,000 square foot house that holds the footprint and reflection of a family – husband, kids, in-laws, friends, etc. I don’t know how to exist alone in this space. This is a space no longer intended for one person. How will it feel to have a glimpse backwards to a life that I no longer have and no longer want?
As of now I’m going to focus on how lovely it will be to sleep in, go to a movie with my husband, eat out, cook breakfast for MYSELF, and take a shower without an audience. On second thought, ignore everything I just said.